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Malaysian model tries her hand at acting in the Big Apple


THOUGH her entry into the modelling industry was not planned, Marina Suwendy now navigates her career with a purpose and the intention of staying there for a long time.

The lass, who is a mix of Chinese, Nyonya and Dayak parentage, says that she usually does television commercials and print advertisements in New York where she is based.

“However, I believe that models cannot do such work all the time so I decided to be versatile and get into acting as well,” she said, adding that she is currently studying at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York whose alumni include Warren Beatty, Marlon Brando, Benicio Del Toro, Kevin Costner and Salma Hayek.

She recently did some acting in two upcoming movies, one a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope and the other is the highly-anticipated Men In Black 3.

“For the former, we sometimes did scenes that took up to 20 minutes without cuts and that means about 30 pages worth of script. It was intense,” she said, adding that her character was that of a girl who seduces then murders someone before crumbling into an emotional breakdown.

A law degree holder with a diploma in liberal arts and a para-legal certificate, Suwendy also works for her father who is in the property development industry.

“I liaise with overseas consultants and I also trash out ideas with him as well as do some research. Currently, we are working at bringing the concept of luxury retirement serviced apartments featuring medical facilities to Malaysia,” she said.

Suwendy is also starting up her own business that is still under wraps though she revealed that it will have something to do with the fashion industry.

She completes jigsaw puzzles to destress and while home in Malaysia, which she tries to do every six months, she will try to accompany her mother on her fishing trips.

“I also like watching live badminton matches a lot and will wake up in the wee hours to catch it on television. I think my neighbours are not too fond of me as I tend to become very loud when cheering on our country’s players,” she laughs.

She also loves cooking and food in general, introducing local fare to her friends back in the States.

“Whenever I head back, I bring something for them to try including Chinese New Year cookies, dodol and Tambun biscuits from Penang. I have not managed to get them to try anything durian-based yet though,” she said, adding that she can find durians in New York but they were not as fresh as those available locally.

Inspired by her mother’s side of the family, Suwendy also does her own cooking and her favourite recipe is bak kut teh though she considers her specialties to be Indonesian rendang, sweet and spicy crabs.

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